I am back from a Thanksgiving vacation from the Grand Cayman Islands. It was a very good trip with lots of great weather at the beginning. We swam with the Sting Rays and ate much of the local fare. Wine and liquor were very interesting there. Since it was a British Island and still recognizes the King and Queen, the island can be a popular destination for British tourists.
Being that this island attracts a lot of Brits, they have many wine stores all across the island. It was a little strange because I found that a lot of the cheap wines and liquors were more expensive and some of the more expensive wines were not that expensive there. Since I was on vacation I only took a few notes on wines, liquors, and restaurants so here are some quick highlights:
The night before we stayed at the Westin in Dulles and at the hotel bar we all shared a bottle of the 2010 Marchesi di Barolo Dolcetto d’Alba Madonna del Dono. I am not sure if I have had this grape before but it was pretty good. Black currants and cherry on the nose with cherry and spice on the mouth. The wine had pretty high acid but very bold tannins. Rating: B+
When we first arrived, we all went to the wine store and picked up a variety of red and rose wines, but of course, with warm weather most wanted rose. The first on the list was the 2013 Gerard Bertrand Gris Blanc. This wine was right in the middle of a rose and white wine. It was a very light pink color with refreshing fruit flavors. It was great by the pool. Rating: A
My mother picked out an interesting red wine that we had that evening the 2008 Rosemount Diamond Label Pinot Noir. I kind of said to myself 2008 Pinot Noir in the Grand Caymans from Australia? No real website for this one but Wine Spectator gave it 83 points. It could have been the warm weather or how it was stored but it tasted hyper aged. At first sip, I was like not bad tastes older but after a while it became pretty unbearable. It was brick red with a rich earthy flavor that still had a high amount of vinegar. Bottle could have been bad but it didn’t taste like it was quite there. Rating: C- (if it truly wasn’t bad)
The following evening we decided to go ahead and hit another continent where there were some good priced wines from a close neighbor, South America. We had the 2013 El Portillo Malbec from Argentina. I had not seen this one stateside and the website first brings up a website with British pound prices. This was a great fruit forward wine with lots of black cherries and licorice. Pretty bold finish but not overpowering. Rating: A-
Of course, we couldn’t have a trip around the world until we had an American wine. Sorry, I didn’t see any Virginia wines in the Caymans. My dad made a second run to the store because we were drinking the rose wine pretty fast so fast I am pretty sure I missed a few in my notes. When he came back he thought I said rose and red, so we ended up with a surplus
But one I was not going to let go by was the 2003 Chalk Hill Estate Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon. I was really surprised to see such a nice aged wine in the Grand Caymans. According to Wine.com, it was $59.99 and now is sold out. My father is not a wine guy so for him to spend more than $30 is a big deal and that is what he claimed he paid at the wine shop. I cannot confirm this. What I can confirm is that this wine was pretty awesome. It had a nice dark color with just a little red brick on the sides. The fruit on the nose hasn’t faded much so you could probably age this wine. It has great earth in nose and flavor along with rich blackberries and cassis. Wine Enthusiast gave is 94 points and I couldn’t agree more. Rating: solid A
Coming next will be possibly 7 more wines, a wine bar, a michelin star chef restaurant with a rare rum bar, and maybe even some rum reviews. Stay tuned!